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Updates from week commencing 17 May 2021

Read all the updates that took place throughout this week.

Friday 21 May 2021



Equality, diversity and inclusion in dentistry: new DDAG report


The Diversity in Dentistry Action Group (DDAG) has published Equality, diversity and inclusion within dentistry - a profession wide commitment, setting out aims, plans and recommendations for tackling inequalities in dentistry.


Their initial focus will be on racial equality in dentistry, with this later expanding to address wider protected characteristics and discrimination issues.


Laura Cross and Shareena Ilyas, Co-Chairs of the BDA’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee said:


“We are proud to have contributed to this new report from the DDAG and applaud their collaborative approach to tackling racism in the dental profession. Only together can we break down the barriers that are at the root of discrimination and ensure that everyone has the opportunity to pursue a successful career in dentistry.


“We look forward to continuing to help drive this agenda forward and to make dentistry a more inclusive and equitable profession. We are continuing with our work on equality, diversity and inclusion, investigating the issues faced within dentistry, and helping to define the solutions.”





Survey: Feedback wanted from GDPs in England


We are gathering fresh intelligence on how the pandemic is continuing to impact on our members. From your morale to the future of standard operating procedures, your feedback will shape the case we make to government.


If you're a practice owner or associate, working in NHS, mixed or private practice in England then please complete this five-minute survey.





Associate dentists - managing your financial and tax affairs


Are you an associate dentist? If so, consider attending our upcoming webinar for assistance and advice on how best to manage accounts and tax affairs. This online event is free to members and will take place from 19:30 - 20:30 on Thursday 17 June 2021.


Register today to:


  • Evaluate the best ways to organise your accounts
  • Learn how to use essential accounting software to organise and streamline your affairs
  • Discuss deductions available for associates
  • Understand your accounts and tax bill.





Update your marketing preferences


Members can update their mailing details at any time through their My BDA account. Keep up-to-date with all the latest news from the profession, learn about the latest clinical research from the BDJ, or hear about our upcoming events. You’re in control of the emails you receive from us. Choose "Contact Preferences" to update your details.





Scotland: New Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care


Humza Yousaf has been appointed Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care, with responsibility for dentistry.


The Cabinet Secretary (Jeane Freeman) previously had responsibility for dentistry but was moved to the Minister for Public Health (Joe FitzPatrick, later Mairi Gougeon) a couple of years ago.


We understand Mr Yousaf has cousins who are dentists so he may be familiar with some of our concerns. We will be writing to him soon to make him aware of our issues and to request a meeting.



Thursday 20 May 2021



Northern Ireland: Duty of Candour online event


The Department of Health is hosting an online information session on the Duty of Candour and Being Open public consultation on 3 June 2021.


This new Duty of Candour will affect everyone involved in providing HSC services, whether salaried or independent contractors. This is the opportunity to highlight concerns relating to dentistry, and we would encourage as many as possible to attend this important event.


Register for the online event.





Living with the threat of vicarious liability


Can practice owners ever completely protect themselves from the risk of vicarious liability?


Many of you will already be familiar with the recent court case in which a dental practice owner was found to be vicariously liable for the errors of his associate.


Our members have been calling us to express concern. To reassure them, we have taken advice from legal counsel to find out whether (and how) practice owners can protect themselves from litigation for another person’s acts and omissions.






Remote orthodontics: We need regulation not warnings


In a new blog, BDA Chair Eddie Crouch explains why the new guidelines on remote orthodontics are no substitute for meaningful regulation when it comes to protecting patients.


"Given these aligners can lead to fundamental changes to a patient's mouth... we've not let up on the need to see proper protections in place."






Northern Ireland: Rebuilding General Dental Services


This week we have written to the DoH to seek clarity on future FSS support.


While it has provided a much-needed lifeline to GDPs over the past year, the short-term nature of the various scheme iterations has resulted in considerable uncertainty.


Our preferred approach would be for current FSS arrangements to be retained for the remainder of the financial year. We have also requested that a working group be established to begin producing future GDS contractual arrangements beyond 2022.



Wednesday 19 May 2021



MPs to debate dentistry: Remember to have your say


We have been reaching out to MPs on the challenges facing all our members, and are pleased to report that Bedford MP Mohammad Yasin has secured a parliamentary debate on dentistry next Tuesday.


From the future of SOPs to your morale, we want to ensure Ministers know the facts. So, if you are a practice owner or associate practising in England, please complete this five-minute survey.


In January, thousands of members wrote to their MPs and helped generate unprecedented cross-party consensus on the need for real support for this service. Help us build on this momentum.





England: Seeking a change to the SOPs


We have been pressing the office of the CDO England over what might trigger a change in Standard Operating Procedures, as general practitioners are finding adherence to it challenging.


We feel that whatever is in place needs to be more dynamic than it is currently and are asking questions along the lines of: "Will change be driven by the R-number, the double vaccination of patients and providers or broader Government policy?".


From 21 June, as it stands, there will probably be discrepancies between conditions and requirements in dental surgeries and other places welcoming the public.


There is certainly recognition that the SOP needs to be rationalised and that the CDO's office, PHE and the FGDP need to be addressing this soon. That said, a large number of people (for example, practice receptionists) will probably be keen to retain certain elements which have been introduced eg social distancing and screens, so it will be a difficult path to negotiate.


You can be assured that we will be looking to reduce any unnecessary burdens on practices as soon as possible (for example the wearing of gowns and visors etc). However, such issues are mandated by high-level publications - and rely on advice by such organisations as SDCEP - which last week stated:

"Considering the current situation and the lack of new higher certainty evidence, the agreed positions and other conclusions within the AGP Rapid Review remain unchanged ie that staff and patients should continue to adhere to the precautions specified in current national guidance".


SDCEP: Main points from the recently updated Rapid Review


Recently, the Scottish Dental Clinical Effectiveness Programme (SDCEP) issued an update of the Mitigation of Aerosol Generating Procedures in Dentistry - A Rapid Review. To date, no new higher certainty evidence has been identified that changes the conclusions of the Rapid Review.


The Working Group emphasises the importance of staff and patients continuing to adhere to the various precautions specified in current national guidance.


The main points to take away from the updated Rapid Review are:


  • No new higher certainty evidence has been identified that changes the conclusions of the Rapid Review.
  • The agreed positions and other conclusions within the Rapid Review remain unchanged.
  • Staff and patients should continue to adhere to the precautions specified in current national guidance, which includes:
    • Regularly reviewing all stages of the patient journey to assess adherence to procedures and any improvements required.
    • Rigorous use of face coverings/masks and application of social distancing measures in clinical and non-clinical areas, including staff rooms.
    • Use of the correct level of PPE as identified in the PHE Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) guidance (see below)
    • Individual patient risk assessment to determine the appropriate care pathway as described in the above
    • Effective ventilation in both clinical and non-clinical areas.
    • Screening questions should be consistent with current triage criteria, including quarantine requirements following international travel

Further points from the Infection Prevention Control (IPC) guidance on High, Medium and Low risk care pathways:


  • For a patient to be in the Low risk pathway, a negative PCR test is required, and the patient must have followed self isolation advice (there is a trial in East of England going on at the moment on this)
  • A lateral flow test is not sufficient unless the patient is part of a regular formal NHS testing plan and remains negative and asymptomatic.
  • While vaccination will provide protection for the vaccinated individual, this is not 100% and it is also unknown whether vaccination prevents onward transmission; as such, the same precautions are required for both vaccinated and unvaccinated patients and staff.




Could you influence the direction of the BDA?


We have a vacancy for a UK-wide member to serve on our board until December 2023. Our board has overall responsibility for the control and direction of the policy and affairs of the BDA and its members are the directors of the association. We would expect you to devote around 20 days per year, and you'll receive an annual payment of £15,000.


Submit a nomination form or contact Stephen Skelton to discuss the role further.



Tuesday 18 May 2021



Environmental mitigation of AGPs


Following the publication of the Rapid Review of Aerosol Generating Procedures in Dentistry, the Scottish Dental Clinical Effectiveness Programme is continuing to develop and update their COVID-19 resources. To help inform this work, they are asking the profession to take part in a short survey before Thursday 27 May.





Continuing to support you during the COVID-19 pandemic


We know that this year has been incredibly hard for dentists; therefore, I wanted to take a moment to applaud you for your efforts during a time of tremendous uncertainty.


We have been working around the clock to provide you with information, support, and resources through this page.


We developed resources to help you safely return to work. We gave advice on individual pay disputes and uncertainty, and we stood by you and advocated on your behalf to Parliament.


We will continue to fight for you during this time, so you get the support and resources you deserve. Thank you for continuing to support us.


With regards,


Eddie Crouch

Chair, BDA





Ventilation: the latest information for dentists


The Scottish Dental Clinical Effectiveness Programme (SDCEP) has recently published a summary of currently available information on ventilation. This has been compiled from several key publicly available documents developed by other organisations and expert groups, with a focus on advice and information that has relevance for dental facilities.


Please note that this document is not guidance but provides information about ventilation under several headings.



Monday 17 May 2021



Supporting patients with a learning disability and autism


Sara Hurley, Chief Dental Officer England has today issued information to help better support patients with a learning disability, and those with additional support needs.


Evidence shows that for people with a learning disability, there are greater unmet oral health needs, poorer access to dental services and less preventive dental interventions. Autistic patients may find the experience of a dental check up itself distressing. However, with adjustments, these groups of people can get equal access to high quality care.





Scotland: Seeking clarity on support for dentists


We have called on the CDO to clarify when the tiered financial support arrangements will be introduced.


In our letter to CDO, Tom Ferris, we have pressed for details of the activities to be measured as a basis for continued support funding. We are also urging the Scottish Government to begin discussions on the introduction of a more sustainable intermediate funding model that will allow practices to plan their finances.


Our letter also seeks an update on other outstanding issues, including:


  • Guidance on (and funding for) ventilation
  • The continued provision of PPE
  • Payment for COVID vaccinators
  • What treatments are available following the easing of COVID restrictions.

We had been discussing these matters with the CDO and Scottish Government officials before the Government suspended policy discussions during the pre-election period.




Survey: Feedback wanted from GDPs in England


We are gathering fresh intelligence on how the pandemic is continuing to impact on our members. From your morale to the future of standard operating procedures, your feedback will shape the case we make to government.


If you're a practice owner or associate, working in NHS, mixed or private practice in England then please complete this five-minute survey.





England: Commons responds to proposed healthcare reform


Last week House of Commons Health and Social Care Committee published its response to the government’s plans for healthcare reform.


The published report, written in response to the White Paper, repeatedly quotes the written evidence that we submitted to the Committee.


The Committee paper calls for the following:


  • Protection of patient choice: this follows our call to ensure everyone has the right to receive treatment outside the area served by their local integrated care system.
  • Duty on prevention: The upcoming Health and Social Care Bill to place a core duty on integrated care systems to consider public health and develop strategies to ensure the prevention of ill-health.
  • A system to formally monitor public procurement.
  • Annual reports from Health Education England on workforce shortages, training and staffing requirements.

The Health and Social Care Bill is expected to be published in the coming weeks. We are working closely with the Government, MPs, and civil servants to ensure the proposed reforms secure the best deal for members and the millions you treat.